NFL Network Says a Wistful Goodbye to Credibility
Barry McBride on November 5th, 2010 AT 11:25 PM
Look, I’m not even going drop a hyperlink to this crap because it’s such blatant linkbait. I probably shouldn’t even comment on it, frankly.
Sometimes, an item comes across my desk that is clearly idiotic on purpose, if only to create some attention for the network or publication that puts it out.
Here’s the latest example: The NFL Network sent me an email not long ago relaying that their purpose-free rundown of the greatest NFL players of all time listed 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice as #1 and Browns RB Jim Brown as #2.
There are two ways they reached this conclusion:
1. They decided that it would make a dull, pointless feature even more boring to list Brown as the best ever, simply because it’s been acknowledged so many times that his stature as the best football player of all time wouldn’t cause a ripple.
– OR –
2. After careful analysis, taking into account career longevity, the quality of competition, the importance to the team’s offensive success, and number of touches per game, the esteemed panel of NFL Network decided that… that… hmmmph… mmpfh…. sorry… laughing… too hard… oh my.
It’s total garbage, of course, created only to get people to pay attention to the moribund network’s generally uninspiring programming. Frankly, it’s an encapsulation of the worst elements of the sports media circa 2010:
Creating features that impart absolutely no new information whatsoever but fill up lots of air time/column space? Check.
Deliberately creating a controversial result to receive unjustified attention in an oversaturated market? Check.
Co-opted by the league or team it covers? Check.
Simply repeating well-worn sportswriting tropes (“the all-time list”) at the expense of anything creative or new? Check.
Ultimately, though, the servers of this sort of slop can’t be blamed for it, because too many people eat it right up. It’s the same reason content factories and blogs churn out pointless Top 25 lists that play better to SEO than the human brain.
This sort of thing is absolute dreck, but we have only ourselves to blame if we choose to consume it. Ignore it, and maybe it will go away.
Transcript: Brian Daboll, 11/5
Barry McBride on November 5th, 2010 AT 7:48 PM
(On what he remembers about losing to the Browns as an assistant in New England in 2000)- “I do remember that it was, I don’t want to say it was a turning point because we weren’t very good. We were about 2-8 or something like that at the time. I remember I was getting people’s luggage and things like that (joking). I remember it was loud, they were pretty excited to win. Then we got home and it wasn’t too good, I remember that.”
(On if Bill Belichick conducted a meeting with his coaches after that loss)- “Yes, we had a meeting. I don’t know if it was that night or the next day, I can’t remember. Usually you have those, that one was just that one was a little bit quicker than some of the other ones.”
(On what this game Sunday means to him)- “I remember a lot of these questions came up in the Kansas City week with Charlie (Weis) and RAC (Romeo Crennel). It’s just people that you know. You like to beat some of the guys you grew up with in the business. In terms of any extra incentive or anything like that, when you get into the division and you play the Pittsburghs and Baltimores, you kind of get geared up being in the (AFC) North now. It’s another game with some of the guys that you’ve coached with before. Like I said, with Anthony Pleasant, RAC, Otis (Smith), (Todd) Haley, Charlie and all of those guys (in Kansas City). Guys like Pepper Johnson, Ivan Fears and Dante Scarnecchia, so you kind of know those guys. It’s a competitive game.”
(On if Belichick is a football genius)- “I know he’s a really good football coach. He understands all aspects of the game, he’s been in the NFL since 1975. The Lions might have been his first year, somewhere around there. In 35 years, there’s not much he hasn’t seen. He does a good job of trying to take away the strengths of the opposing teams, either offense, defense or special teams. I think he’s a good motivator with the players, but he’s really smart. He knows what they want to try to do and he gets them to do it. I think he’s got a lot of respect from the players that he coaches and that comes with winning too. I know he was here and didn’t have a winning record here. He went to New England and started out a little rough, but he was a steady force all the way through, a very good leader. Then (Drew) Bledsoe went down and (Tom) Brady came in. The type of guys that he has in the organization, at least when I was there and I’m sure right now, are tough, they’re smart. He works to improve them, he gets the young guys to get better and he’s demanding. He’s pretty savvy all the way around.”
(On Belichick saying their offense looks like a West Coast offense)- “I’m sure he’s seen some plays that we’ve implemented. I guess you’d have to ask him that one.”
(On if he thinks their offense has a West Coast style)- “No, I think he’s seen a lot of plays on tape that they run too at New England.”
(On what he took from the New Orleans game)- “We won, that was the most important thing. The guys did a good job of protecting the football. It was loud early on. (Brad) Seely had that nice call on special teams and we got it down low. It was so loud that we actually had a couple ‘check with me’ type of plays that we didn’t get done the way they should have been done. We could have scored a couple of times there, but the loud environment, I thought Colt (McCoy) did a good job with that. Early on, it if you get that ball down there inside the 10, it was loud as heck. We had a ‘check with me’ and we missed it just because it was loud. He settled down and he did a good job throughout the whole day of just getting the offense in a tempo, not turning the football over and ultimately making plays when he needed to make one on some of those pass plays.”
(On if there is an adjustment in the game plan because of less crowd noise for the offense for a home)- “You can use more cadence variations than you do on the road, particularly in a dome. You’re usually using silent count in a dome, especially in a place that was as loud as New Orleans was. At home, you should have time to use your voice, some different cadences, try to get an advantage to see what they’re doing. That’s one of the things that you do different than when you’re on the road, especially when it’s noisy.”
(On what he can expect to see from Belichick for McCoy)- “I wish I knew. I’ve watched all seven games that they’ve played and the one thing I do know is that he’s going to have his set of things that he thinks he needs to do to win the football game. Against Cincinnati the first game of the year was completely different than what it was when he played against (Randy) Moss and the Vikings. He had a guy over top of Moss, against Cincinnati he had a two guys doubling the two receivers. Against the Jets and Baltimore, he had kind of a similar plan in that respect to stop the running game and get up and jam the wide receivers. He has certain things that show up each game, but then he’s going to have a couple of things that you probably haven’t seen, specifically to stop what he thinks you do well. Whether that’s get another guy in the box for Peyton (Hillis), whatever it may be and you have to get that throughout the game.”
(On if there will be more in-game adjustments Sunday)- “You try to get that ironed out during the week in practice, a whole bunch of different scenarios. We’ve practiced so many different looks and I think the tough thing is when you play against Bill or teams that go ahead and change it up week to week, is versus a team that plays a 2 Tampa and they play another coverage. You can sit there and practice that over and over and get maybe two reps of one play against the two different looks. Here you’re getting one rep of a play that you might not even come close to getting it right. You’re kind of playing a guessing game, so you’re going to have to adjust a little bit and adapt. You kind of have packages set in place before you get to the game of, ‘If they do this, then you’ve got this.’ You try to plan ahead for those situations.”
(On if it is accurate to say that when Peyton Hillis get hurt against Atlanta, he wouldn’t be healthy again until after the bye)- “You know Steve (Doerschuk), I saw him limping off, I knew he tweaked it a little bit, but he’s a tough (guy). I didn’t put it past him to be ready for the following week. I’m sure he knows his body pretty well, the trainers do a good job and the guy’s mentality, he’s got an old school mentality. I was just going to let it play out and see that hopefully he would be ready to go. I think he’s got a good mindset to do that.”
(On how strong of a number one back Hillis is)- “I think what you’re going to get from his is a consistent performance. He’s tough, he’s a hard-nosed player, he’s out there every day, I think he’s a good leader for our football team, he’s a competitive guy and you just look for a consistent performance from somebody like that. He’s done that to this point.”
(On if Benjamin Watson will be the player that Belichick tries to take away from the Browns’ offense on Sunday)- “I wouldn’t put it past him. I’m not sure, but I think Ben has done a pretty good job for us up to this season in all regards. In everything that he’s done, I think he’s done a good job. He came from New England and he’s doing pretty good. I think definitely he could scheme up something on certain downs to try to go ahead and do that. They get up on those tight ends pretty good. They jammed the heck out of (Todd) Heap, they jammed the heck out of (Dustin) Keller, they jammed the heck out of (Antonio) Gates. I don’t see why it would be any different for Ben.”
(On if they will need to rely more on the receivers for extra production if New England tries to take away the tight ends)- “I don’t think extra, I just think they just have to go out there and do their job and make sure they’re at the right spots. In a lot of those coverages that that happens for those tight ends, a lot of times it’s been two deep. A lot of guys in zone coverage in terms of areas to throw it, they are going to try to get up. They do a good job of jamming those outside guys too. I know that’s one of his core beliefs, to really get up and jam those guys and disrupt the passing game.”
(On what kind of a challenge it is for him to go up against Belichick)- “It’s a great challenge. It’s exciting too to be honest with you. He’s one of the best that’s ever coached. He has his team playing extremely well, they’re 6-1. He’s a competitor, I’m a competitor, we’re not playing like I said with RAC but I want to give my guys the best chance I can. Not just because it’s Bill it could be anybody but I want to give those guys the best chance they can have to go out there and do good.”
(On if New England has an offensive or defensive coordinator this year)- “I don’t think they’ve named them, I’m not 100% positive. I don’t think that they’ve named coordinators there.”
(On if he was on a staff without a coordinator)- “One year yes, Charlie (Weis) left and it was Josh (McDaniels) and myself and Scar (Dante Scarnecchia) kind of just working together but I don’t know you’d have to ask Bill (Belichick) that one.”
(On if one guy called the plays that year)- “Josh pretty much handled it and Bill (Belichick) would kind of put his input in and he’d ask.”
(On how he prepares McCoy mentally for what he is going to face)- “You try to simplify, break down all the plays and simplify certain things that he can take from each scheme that they play. You can’t overwhelm him with things. That’s one thing that I’ve tried not to do the last two weeks with him is just kind of take little bits and pieces of each defensive scheme and maybe try to find some sort of tendency for him where it just sort of triggers. The game happens so fast obviously particularly for a young quarterback where there’s a lot of stuff going through his mind already and just kind of take one or two things to help him identify where to go with the football. It’s been very enjoyable to meet with Colt I’ve got to say. We go on Monday for quite some time and then on Tuesday for quite some time and he doesn’t do it just to say I’m doing it. Like, ‘Oh yeah I’m here, I’m here doing stuff extra.’ He’s competitive, I know it’s important to him, he understands football. He did a lot at Texas, he played a lot of games, he won a lot of games but it’s important to him, he relishes it. He understands the situation that he’s in as a rookie and he’s just going to try to go out there and execute the offense the best that he can.”
(On if McCoy is one of the nicer kids that he’s met)- “There’s been plenty. Eric’s (Mangini) done a good job the last couple years of getting some good guys in here. We had a bunch of good guys in New England and the Jets, it’s kind of the system that he believes in. He’s a good guy, he is.”
(On if the things McCoy needed to work on for the Steelers game carried over to the New Orleans game)- “Yes and I think that that’s something where the bullet’s got to be flying at him. He’s played in two NFL games against two pretty good defenses, you saw what New Orleans did the other night. Getting hit by those big guys there a little bit different than the college guys and he did a good job of standing in and moving when he needed to move. I thought it was better than the week before and that’s what you’re looking for for young guys is to improve each game. Again, he hadn’t had a ton of reps, he’s kind of learning on the fly here. In training camp it was all Jake (Delhomme) and Seneca (Wallace) for the most part.”
(On if McCoy has embraced these first three teams that he has had to face)- “Yes, I think he does, I think he embraces it. He’s a competitive guy, he’s not arrogant or cocky or anything like that. He’s competitive, he wants to do well so bad. You’re out there at practice, even in the bye week and this week he’s been throwing it around pretty good and he’ll miss by six inches and he’ll be slamming his helmet and I’ll go, ‘Hey just go to the next play,’ and he’ll get done and he’ll get done with that period and he might have had four good throws right after that and he made a good check with me and he’ll come off and he’ll be like, ‘I can’t believe I missed the freakin’ throw,’ and he doesn’t swear and you’ll look down there and he’s got (Brian) Robiskie, (Chansi) Stuckey and Mohamed (Massaquoi) throwing it 16 times to make sure it’s right. That’s pretty good to see. We did that yesterday, we just changed up a little thing and that’s kind of their rest period in between where the defense is going he’ll be like, ‘Let’s go, come on guys,’ okay so he gets them over there and makes them run and get it the right way.”
(On why Patriots week is different than other weeks when he was in New York)- “Because you’re in the division so it’s like the Steeler week and the Raven week and the Cincinnati week. You move on from place to place that you go and now you have your different division that you play in and the guys that you see twice a week and you know them. For these guys it’s another game for our players it’s the New England Patriots it’s like playing the Saints. It’s not the Ravens or the Steelers or anything like that. Now for the coaches that have worked there a lot of the questions come that are natural questions, that’s different.”
(On Tom Brady and how he compares to other great quarterbacks)- “I have been fortunate to be around a couple pretty good ones. He’s unbelievable. In all regards. You talk about the quarterback and I really believe that the quarterback is the face of a franchise, more important than any position you’ve got. I can’t say enough good things about him. I’m not doing it just to say it. He’s an excellent player, he’s an excellent leader, he’s a competitive person. Just with the guys and throwing it and hitting the dang goal post or something, he’s competitive. He understands the game, he learned from Bill (Belichick) a ton of great things. He’s what you want in a quarterback. He’s calm in the pocket, he’s got great pocket presence, he’s got good accuracy, he doesn’t get fazed by very much and he’s won a ton of games. He’s the ultimate quarterback I think.”
(On if he is in a tough situation because he was with Belichick in New England and Mangini in New York)- “I just leave that between those two guys to be honest with you. I’ll let those guys talk about it. I’m sure you guys have asked enough questions about it to them.”
(On if he talks to Belichick)- “If I see him I say hello but I leave that other stuff to those guys.”
(On why Belichick said they have a West Coast offense)- “I don’t know. I don’t know.”
(On if he would describe his offense as a West Coast offense)- “Me, no. We have a Mary Kay (Cabot), as I’ve told you before, a variety of systems whether it’s from stuff that Eric wants and of course you’re going to pick the brain of Mike (Holmgren) and ask him about certain plays and put some plays in that have been successful for him. You’d be moronic not to. But in terms of the overall scheme, I think it’s our offense. However he wants to describe it that’s fine for him.”
(On what Mike Holmgren said about the receivers and his recent conversations with him)- “I think that to be an effective offense you have to have all your parts working. I agree with that. The perimeter players, the inside players, the backs, the offensive line, the quarterback. I think each position you have on your offense has to be accountable to do good and be at the right spots and do the right things. We’ve worked on it on the bye week here, we’ll continue to work on it. I’d like to get them involved too at the right time. If Ben’s (Watson) open and he’s consistently open then Ben’s going to get the ball too. If Peyton’s helping us on third down I think he’s 13 of 18 on third down conversations then he’s going to get the ball. I like to distribute it to as many guys as we can to expand the field both horizontally and vertically as well.”
LeBron Gets His Answer
Barry McBride on November 5th, 2010 AT 7:45 PM
“What should you do?”. Grow up.
But that won’t happen until the fame fades, the money doesn’t flow, and the enablers stop enabling.
Nice work calling BS on selfishness and greed, Cleveland. Again.
@ReasonsImADrunk At least when Smith is inactive, you won’t be confused as to what the coach thinks of him.
Browns-Patriots Injury Report, Nov. 5
Don Delco on November 5th, 2010 AT 5:20 PM
QB Jake Delhomme, ankle
OL John St. Clair, ankle
DL Kenyon Coleman, knee
DL Shaun Rogers, ankle
LB Matt Roth, hamstring
QB Seneca Wallance, ankle
TE Alex Smith, ankle
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
S Jarrad Page, calf
RB Fred Taylor, toe
WR Deion Branch, hamstring
S Patrick Chung, knee
WR Matt Slater, ankle
LB Tully Banta-Cain, not injury related
QB Tom Brady, right shoulder
LB Brandon Spikes, knee
Rob Ryan Press Conference Transcript, Nov. 5
Don Delco on November 5th, 2010 AT 5:16 PM
(On if New England's running game is holding the team back andwhat their numbers indicate)- "Actually, I think their numbers are pretty good, I think they're up there in the top 15 anyway. I think New England can do anything they want, that's how they've always been. Some games they come in and they want to run the ball and they're very successful at it. Other games they want to spread it all over the field. A Bill Belichick-run team is very multiple, they're very successful in what they do. Their runners run tough and hard and downhill so they don't lose many yards. They also protect the football really well, plus they can block and catch the football. They've done a nice job with those guys."
(On if the Patriots' offense is better or worse without Randy Moss)- "I can't say. I haven't seen them with Moss too much besides some earlier games this year. Obviously, I know Randy Moss, I'm real familiar with him. He's an outstanding football player. I'm not sure if you could possibly be better without him because they were so tremendous. I think they broke about every record in the league's history on offense. I hope they're not better, that's for sure.”
(On if he would share any stories about his days in New England)- "Man, there's so many of them. Shoot, we had a rough start when we were 5-11 out there. I was questioning it like, ‘Man, I thought this was going to be a little different.' It took me a long time to work back from when I was fired at the Arizona Cardinals. I had to go back down to junior college, the number one defense in the nation, just to work my way into Oklahoma State. We were in the top-10 for three years and I finally got back and then we were 5-11 and looked terrible. Things were a little bleak there and everybody was calling for Belichick's head and everything else like that. Then out of nowhere, this Tom Brady came on and the rest is history. We had some great times with the players there, they had some great players, and obviously they've had some premier coaches."
(On if he remembers when he was coaching in New England when Belichick came back to Cleveland for the first time and lost)- "I just remember that it was just an awful game. Cleveland got the better of us in about everything they did. They played better on defense, offense, special teams and according to Belichick, which I'm sure he was right, coaching. I can remember getting off of that plane and having a meeting and we just got ripped from one side down to the next. That was really a miserable game, probably the lowest of the low when you take in the coaching and everything and the personal beat downs we took. We all grew from it and everybody finally got to understand exactly what Coach Belichick was looking for. It's amazing how it works when everybody buys in and you all start pulling the same way, you can really accomplish a lot of things."
(On if some of the things he does come from what he learned from Belichick and how Belichick comes up with the things he comes up with)- "Absolutely. I definitely learned a lot of football from Bill Belichick and Eric (Mangini) for that matter. We were all together there and it was a great experience for me. He taught me so many things about situations, and not that he just sat down and talked to me because he was running a football team. I'm pretty smart that way and a pretty good observer, I've learned a lot from good people and I learned a ton from him. I always admired him and the work he's done in the past and since. Can I get in the mind of Bill Belichick? I don't think anybody can. He's got a proven track record, he's a tremendous coach, he gets his players to play every week, he's never had those problems that a lot of teams do have and I think he has great discipline with his team, just like we do here in Cleveland with Eric. It makes for a good working environment and it makes for a real successful organization."
(On if he got along with Belichick because they have different personalities)- "We are different. I never hung out and drank beers with him or anything. I always admired him I mean (heck) I don't know if he knew my name or anything but I think he knows I can coach a little bit but I knew he could that's for (darn) sure. I hung out with Eric (Mangini), I hung out with some of the other coaches but not him. It was more a teacher-student relationship."
(On if the New Orleans game is what they are shooting for each week)- "I think obviously that game went really well. I think our players played exceptionally well, they knew the plan exceptionally well but they are the ones to but they really are the ones to praise. They're the ones that made that plan look great. Scott Fujita, all over the place, David Bowens, Shaun Rogers, these guys were phenomenal. I'm sure if we called just about anything there that week, I'm sure we would have been just fine. They did a lot of extra work and there are the ones that really got it done and played so hard. It was fun to see. It was fun to see the guys have been working so hard that a victory like that finally paid off."
(On how much easier it is to deal with Wes Welker with Moss gone)- "I'll tell you what that Welker is hard to deal with. I don't think it makes defensing Welker any easier. The guy's all over the place, he's lightning quick, he's a great competitor. Moss would be on one side and he's all over the place in the middle of the field and outside. He's very difficult to defend as really all those guys are. They've got these tight ends that are hybrid types that can play wide receiver, tight end, they can block. They're very difficult to defend. Obviously, with Tom Brady at quarterback, his track record speaks for itself. I've said all along I think he's the best quarterback I've ever seen and I believe that and hopefully he has a bad day and that's what we're going to try and make him have."
(On if Tom Brady is the best in the history of the NFL or just guys that he has seen)- "I mean the guys that I've seen. I've been around it a long time remember. I've been around it when my dad's had his teams. I just don't see how there could be a quarterback that could lead like he leads and that is as dedicated as Tom Brady is. He's such a leader, has a great arm and everything, he's got everything. For me he's the best I've ever seen."
(On what goes into game planning against Brady)- "I think if Tom Brady knows what you're in, I don't care who you are, I think he'll find a way to beat you. It's a (heck) of a challenge and it's a (heck) of a challenge for our players to step up and do a great job, win the one on one matchups. We got to do some things that are tough. With this guy here him knowing defensive football like he does and things like that it's very difficult. Just like Drew Brees, he's an exceptional student of the game as well. Those quarterbacks we play them every week it seems like and the task is always tough."
(On if they confused Drew Brees)- "I'm not so sure about that. I think we had a lot of big hits on him and I think when you can do that I don't think you're confusing anyone but you're probably hurting them. When Shaun Rogers hit him about four times and came down on him that has to hurt and Scott (Fujita) blows through there. I think we had some good drops in zone coverage that helped, made him hold the ball and he took a pretty good beating out there I thought. To say we confused Drew Brees I'm not going to say that, (heck) that's probably not true."
(On Shaun Rogers)- "When he's healthy he is a man among boys when he is healthy. That's the biggest thing this year is to get him healthy and when he is being able to unleash him on people is a great thing. That's a hard thing when he's been battling injuries constantly this year."
(On if he knows what will work against the Patriots from his and others past experience)- "We've got a lot of guys that have played these guys a lot, I played them in Oakland. They're very difficult because they change every week. Again, they can literally change their offense every week. We've studied what they do there's no question about it but again they're a game plan specific team so once we get out there on Sunday we're going to have to adjust and hopefully they'll have to adjust."
(On if the transition from nose tackle to defensive end is an easy adjustment)- "It's a very difficult thing. When you take a tackle and move him to end. I did the same thing with Warren Sapp and that was not easy or fun. It's a tough thing, you're playing multiple positions, it would be like anyone playing corner and safety at the same time. Outside linebacker and inside, where ever you move them you get multiple jobs, it's difficult. He's (Shaun Rogers) been an inside tackle quite a bit and he's still playing in there quite a bit. It's a tough job there's no question."
(On what his approach is towards Brady)- "I think every week you have to hit the quarterback. I really believe that. He's the source of the passing game and you have to do it. Have we been that successful every week? Probably not but that's the goal, you always want to be able to hit the quarterback, you always want to be able to change coverages up on the quarterback and cover the wide outs. That's the goal. Now does it always happen? No, it doesn't always happen but I think we have a great plan, I know we do, and looking forward to getting after it."
(On if Rex Ryan has been able to help him this week)- "No, I know he's wishing us well. He's definitely doing that. We've had a lot of conversation but it was about my son who was in the hospital more than it is about football because we are brothers we still talk about those things. He's wishing us the best but it's tough they run a different style of defense than ours so you can't exactly do the same thing. When you see it on tape you're obviously looking at the number one scoring team in football so they are pretty (darn) good."
(On what the defense is going to look like the second half of the season)- "I think we're going to keep improving. I know we are going to keep working hard. Our guys are focused in doing that. I believe we're 12th in the league in scoring defense right now. We have big goals, we want to be an in the upper echelon on defense, eventually we want to be the best. We're going to keep working on at that, we've got some (darn) good players that in my opinion are very well coached and together I think we can have one (heck) of a defense."
(On how hard it is to prepare for this game with his son in the hospital)- "He's doing great, he's back home now. Eight days is a long time for a kid but he's doing great and I appreciate it, but (heck) he wants us to beat the Patriots too."
(On if there is a similarity in their defense and what the Ravens did against Brady)- "There's always similarities between those styles of defenses and nothing's exact, but against what makes it difficult is their looking at the same tape you are and they're also game planning you. Are we going to get the same plays that Baltimore got? I really doubt it. Are we going to get the same plays San Diego got? It's very difficult to defense a team like this. The biggest thing is to be able to adjust quickly and well and to be able to communicate with your defense to understand how the game is being played and then be able to attack it from there."
(On what the Jets did defensively to beat New England)- "I hope it's the Ryans, go 2-0 on them. I think it was a very well played game on defense. That's what it takes to beat a team like this you really have to be good, you really have to be good and you have to be on point. They capitalize on every little mistake you make and they just feast on people like that. When they make a mistake they kill you. I've been on those sidelines, I know, I've seen it firsthand where we've won about every game by three points or less or whatever it was but (heck) we were never thought we were in a game that we were going to lose. Even in those close situations. We have a hungry team here, we're excited. I think we're, I don't know what the record is 6-5 over the last 11 games. Beat the world champs. (Heck) we're excited about where we are. We're excited about this opportunity and we want to beat this (darn) team."
(On if there is added emotion and drama to this game because a lot of the Cleveland coaching staff previously worked in New England)- "Yes, plus I think when I played them in Oakland, (heck) I thought they were going to set a scoring record. I'm a (darn) competitor. I want to do better, I want to get after their (them) like they got after me. So we'll see what happens."
(On when Gerard Warren played for him in Oakland)- "He was outstanding. He's a great young man, he works his (tail) off. I know what his reputation was coming from here you know it was like, ‘Oh (crap),' but I never got that from him. The guy worked his butt off for me. He's a good man, he's a very talented guy, he plays hard and he plays well. He got some injuries there, he was on pace to have double digits in sacks one year. He was really playing well and I really think he's a good man."
(On Gerard Warren still sticking around)- "He's grown up obviously. If he had problems here in the past I'm not sure, but I know he was very professional and worked very hard."
(On if the 2001 and 2003 Super Bowls were the best days of his football life)- "I would definitely say yes. When you walk off the field as a champion it's not just you, it's your family, it's everybody that you brought to the game. I know that's how it always felt when dad won. When my father won Super Bowls it was like, ‘(Heck) yes we won,' When my brother did for Baltimore that was a (heck) of a feeling, but there's nothing better than winning that thing. People say the birth of your kids, that's probably true but (darn) it's close. It's a (heck) of a thing now, winning Super Bowls is a lot of fun I can promise you that. It really gives you credibility as a coach when you want to go on and coach in this profession a long time. You've been a winner, no one's done it better when you have that hardware you have all the proof you need."
Browns Injury Report: DOUBTFUL – Delhomme, St. Clair. QUESTIONABLE – Coleman, Rogers, Roth, Wallace. PROBABLE – Alex Smith.
Pats Injury Report: Page, Taylor – OUT. Branch, Chung, Slater – QUESTIONABLE. Brady, Banta-Cain, Spikes – PROBABLE.
Mangini Press Conference Transcript, Nov. 5
Don Delco on November 5th, 2010 AT 2:11 PM
(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. The guys that are going to be out today are the same three so Jake (Delhomme), Seneca (Wallace) and John (St. Clair). Everybody else should be available to practice here today. We are on our standard schedule, there's no big shift, no big variation of what we're doing. It's red area, it's goal line, it's review and I think everyone's excited about finishing up our prep."
(On if they are just being cautious with Wallace)- "We're just following what the trainers say and what the doctors say so as soon as we get clearance from them. The week that he, John (St. Clair) and Jake (Delhomme) had I think was really good probably the best week in terms of their movement and things like that. I still think Seneca's got a shot for this week but I'd say it's an outside chance."
(On if this is a unique game against the Patriots because he has Rob Ryan and Brad Seely with him and if they have had a lot of stories this week as comic relief)- "There are definitely a lot of stories going around. I don't think it's unique for me, I think it's unique for a lot of them. (Brian) Daboll was there for a couple of the games in New York, but this is Brad's first time doing it. Rob has coached against them in Oakland but in terms of us all being together, yes there's been some funny stuff. Nothing I could really share because it wouldn't make for good headlines (joking)."
(On what he means when he said Wallace has a chance for Sunday)- "Being active, not starting."
(On if he would consider Wallace for the number two quarterback spot)- "I don't really know, it would really depend on what it looks like. It would depend on those things, I couldn't tell you now.”
(On if Matt Roth is okay)- "Yes, he's fine it was just a small thing, we wanted to make sure we had it on the injury report."
(On if Colt McCoy will be seeing new things from Patriots that the Saints and Steelers haven't done)- "It depends because if there's something that New England liked from those packages, things that people did against us, we may get that. It really just depends on what they feel is going to be the best thing to stop us and attack us. Sometimes those are new things that originate there, sometimes it's, ‘Hey, this was a really good approach,' based on whoever played us before and you implement that, so it could be either one of those."
(On if he goes back to reference Luke McCown's rookie game against the Patriots in 2004)- "I don't remember that game so no."
(On if anything is scary about sending in McCoy against New England)- "No, he's been in a couple tough arenas here. Going to Pittsburgh for your first game that's about as tough as it gets so he's walked down that path before."
(On if there is anything that McCoy can be sure that he'll see against New England that he hasn't seen against other teams yet)- "I'm sure there will be something. The whole key is you don't know what the something is going to be so you've just got to give a range of things. There's core of things that are done game in and game out so I'm not saying that every single play is going to be brand new but there's going to be some things that just look a little bit different or the approach is a little bit different. It's just the way it is and on the flip side that's how we approach each game as well, and there will be things that New England sees that they haven't seen us do. We'll just see who recognizes it first."
(On if it puts extra pressure on their team because New England waits for their opponent to make a mistake)- "It's just smart football. As long as your starting point is your team doesn't lose the game, that's smart football because you're not beating yourself, you're not doing those things that are going to cost you the wins. Eventually, the other team makes a mistake, they're very good at capitalizing on those mistakes. With that being said it's not like they just sit back like World War I where it's trench warfare. They're still moving things forward, moving the plan forward, it's just sound philosophy, don't beat yourself."
(On the difference between playing smart and playing conservative)- "I don't think it's conservative I think it's just smart, good smart football."
(On if New England can run the ball)- "Both their running backs are averaging over 4.5 yards a carry, that's a pretty good average for your two core running backs. They've always been able to run the ball, and the things that they do in the passing game usually helps them in the running game from a coverage stand point. Tom (Brady) is very good at recognizing, Okay, they've got seven in the box which means that we're going to be light against the run, check to a run. Now they're heavy against the run now check to a pass.' Getting the numbers always in their favor from just audibling it at the line of scrimmage."
(On if there are any parallels between Brady and McCoy)- "It's different because if you remember, Tom was a year plus into his time. He had spent a whole year on the team working, learning and growing. We are talking about two totally different timeframes with where the guys are. If this were a year from now, we could look at it more objectively, but it's just a totally different timeline and dynamic. With Tom, like I said, we weren't all high-fiving when he got the nod, but it sure worked out good."
(On if McCoy is better prepared to face the Patriots defensive scheme because of his first two starts being against tougher defenses)- "I think with each experience, it helps you because you can recognize some things better. You get more comfortable adjusting on the sideline, that becomes a little easier. There's going to be some things that are different. The week before against New Orleans, that had game plan-specific elements as well. We saw some things that he hadn't seen before, so it's just a different approach defensively and we did get quite a bit of that from New Orleans. That was a good, sort of introduction to it."
(On if he has been surprised with the way McCoy has handled himself so far)- "I've been pleased with it. It's a tough environment for anybody. For a young guy, I've been pleased with his poise, I've been pleased with his approach and I've been pleased with his confidence. It's not that false bravado that someone has to try to make those around them feel better about the fact that they're playing, it's legitimate. This is his third shot and I feel good about him going into this game."
(On if he still talks to Bill Parcells)- "Yes, I talk to Bill quite a bit."
(On if he has talked to Parcells about Matt Roth and why it didn't work out in Miami)- "I talked to him when Matt had gotten released and he was very high on Matt. Sometimes you have got to make a change. He had a lot of good things to say and was very positive on him. That helped us too in terms of our claiming him, but we really haven't revisited it since then."
(On if he would abolish the bye week if he were king of the world)- "I like the bye week, I'm a big fan of the bye week. I think you can get a lot done during the bye week. I think it's very important to go back and look at the things you've done over the first group games and improve it. It's a chance to work on you. It's always been very productive and it's also a nice opportunity for the guys to get away. You figure they've been working for quite a bit of time here during the season, so it gives them a chance to get away and recharge their batteries. I think it's a really positive thing and I don't know if that would be my first thing as king of the world. I'd have a long list of things I would probably start with."
(On the first thing he would change if he were king of the world)- "World peace. I sound like a Miss America contest (joking). ‘I'd go for world peace.'"
(On the first thing he would change in the NFL if he were king of the world)- "I don't know, that's a loaded question. It's not good to talk about it in the middle of the season. I'll get back to you at the end of the season on that. We'll do a whole a whole profile, ‘If I were king of the world,' (joking).”
(On if it would be difficult to share snaps between Shawn Lauvao and Billy Yates at right guard)- "We've don't that before. We did it last year with Hank (Fraley) and Rex (Hadnot) some, so that's not out of the realm of possibility at all."
(On if he thinks it is possible for Lauvao and Yates to share snaps this Sunday)- "It could be, yes, definitely. I think Shawn has had a good week of practice and Billy has as well. I wouldn't be opposed to working either one of them in if the other one wasn't starting."
(On if there is a part of him that relishes the opportunity to go up against Belichick and the chess match involved)- "It's always fun to coach against the Patriots and work against Bill, it really is because you appreciate and respect the things that they're going to do. You appreciate and respect the way that they're going to work, the way that they're going to prepare. There's a lot of that understanding of the approach and so that's always fun. You add a guy like Tom Brady into the mix who's so good at taking the plan, taking the information the way that he dissects defenses. That's a huge challenge as well. Whenever you get those opportunities, it's great, but there are challenges every week that you have to deal with. Having been there and understanding the people and really knowing them first hand, you definitely respect the challenge."
(On if he spends a lot of time trying to anticipate the new moves that Belichick is going to make Sunday)- "Our deal is give them plenty of stuff that he's going to have to figure out. That's the approach. Everybody gets a chance with the chalk."
Ben There, Done That: Browns TE Ben Watson has filled a critical void in the Browns offense. http://bit.ly/dzUBiS
Fred Greetham live on WKRN’s Really Big Show right now: http://espn.go.com/espnradio/player?rd=1#/live/?callsign=WKNRAM
Seneca Wallace is not practicing today. Colt McCoy will start against the Patriots on Sunday.
(Subscriber) Xs & Os – The Patriots New O: Doug Farrar reports that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has chang… http://bit.ly/9aLZ0f
11AM: Fred Greetham on WKNR’s NFL Roundtable
Barry McBride on November 5th, 2010 AT 9:10 AM
Fred Greetham will represent the OBR on this week’s NFL Roundtable on WKNR’s “Really Big Show” around 11AM. You can listen locally on 850AM and via the interwebs at http://www.espncleveland.com. Thanks for the invite, Riz and gang!
Remember, you can listen to the OBR Radio program on WKNR2 each Tuesday at 4PM on 1540AM or via the ubiquitous http://www.espncleveland.com. A podcast generally shows up on the OBR home page in the day following, and then Browns fans download it to play at parties instead of dance music. My suggestion when listening to the OBR radio program is that you think and dance.
As always, it’s our unbiased opinion that more OBR means better radio. Or, at least when I’m on the air, more hilarious mispronunciation of names. Since I’m of the philosophy that the entire universe exists only in my imagination, the way I pronounce names is the correct way. Always. I don’t care what Troy Polomalulu thinks.
Decision To Make: Browns coach Eric Mangini could wait until game time to decide who will start at quarterback S… http://bit.ly/cIKwWt
Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on November 5th, 2010 AT 8:00 AM
These are links from the OBR Newswire for November 5th from 07:34 to 07:41:
- Akron Beacon Journal – Mangini thinks Brady started off as average – Browns coach Eric Mangini knew Tom Brady before he became Tom Brady. Before the Super Bowls. Before the super models.
- Canton Repository – Browns coaches biggest worry: What will Bill do? – No Patriots opponent possibly could conduct a better meeting of the minds as to what’s in Bill Belichick’s head than the Browns.
- Canton Repository – Browns’ Hillis never strays far from Arkansas roots – Lou Groza Boulevard is a long way from Arkansas, but in the sensibilities of, say, Stark County football fans, Peyton Hillis’ alma mater sounds like the school next door.
- Plain Dealer – For Seneca Wallace, Jake Delhomme, optimism isn’t enough to recover from high-ankle sprains – Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme did not practice again Thursday, assuring that Colt McCoy will make his third straight start at quarterback Sunday against the New England Patriots.
- Morning Journal – Colt McCoy prepares to start vs. New England Patriots – Colt McCoy on Thursday moved 24 hours closer to being the Browns’ starting quarterback Sunday vs. New England.
- Morning Journal – Coach Eric Mangini remembers Tom Brady’s rise to fame – What do Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger, and Spergon Wynn have in common?
- ProFootbalTalk.com – Braylon Edwards: Mark Sanchez hasn’t earned the right to criticize yet – There may be a day when Mark Sanchez can get on Jets receiver Braylon Edwards for his drops like the fans in Cleveland once did. Sanchez hasn't reached that level, in Edwards' mind.
- Boston Globe – Browns QB real McCoy? – With quarterbacks Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace nursing sprained ankles — both were unable to practice yesterday — it appears that rookie Colt McCoy will make his third straight start for Cleveland when the Browns host the Patriots Sunday.
- Boston Globe – Mangini’s hand a bit shaky at Browns’ helm – The last time Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini did their postgame hand jive as opposing head coaches, Mangini was riding high.
- Boston Globe – Browns offense a bag of tricks – It isn’t just Josh Cribbs’s ability as a kick returner that the Patriots have to worry about Sunday.
- Boston Globe – Tale of punter Mesko unlike any in NFL – Spend a few minutes with Zoltan Mesko, the Patriots’ rookie punter, and you get the impression that he’s bright, dedicated to his craft — he sounds almost like a professor discussing its minutiae — and level-headed almost to a fault.
South Park Owns Lebron, Nike
Barry McBride on November 4th, 2010 AT 10:03 PM
The end of this is just freaking perfect. Just perfect.
We’ll see if Nike’s money can convince TV watchers that blue is green, up is down, and that spoiled brats are victims.
Thursday Evening AFCN Follies
Barry McBride on November 4th, 2010 AT 9:53 PM
Into the lukewarm, congealing split pea soup that is the sports media I go, looking for nuggets amidst the yammering. Wish me luck.
- Earlier this season, we had a series of poll questions via Gameballs and Goats on the subject of why Clevelanders rejected Braylon Edwards as a local hero. Among these were Braylon’s preferred seasons, namely, his being from Michigan and his “flash”. We also suggested that it might his beard, his bad drunken driving, or, obscurely, Braylon himself. Oddly, “Braylon Himself” seemed to always come out on top. Mark Sanchez is now learning why.
- Meanwhile, in Baltimore, T.J. Houshmanzadeh is busy talking himself out of a cushy NFL job. About a decade from now Houshmanzadeh will look back with considerable nostalgia about being able to be paid a truckload of money to play a game, I expect, regardless of how many passes he gets.
- You didn’t read it in any of the papers, but it was Fred Greetham whose question to Mike Holmgren got the coach reminiscing about getting on the sidelines again on Tuesday. Dan Patrick followed that up today, and once again Holmgren was wistful about his coaching days.
- With non-descript play being fairly common for at least one of the Browns starting safeties, fans have often wondered how we let new Jaguars starter Don Carey get away from Cleveland. OBR subscribers got a glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes from Jacksonville regarding Carey, and Jason Witten’s head got a rougher introduction. The one-time Brown is now $12,500 poorer for channeling James Harrison.
- Speaking of Harrison, he obviously learned his lesson.
- Finally, check out the photos ESPN used to try to set up the Browns-Patriots as a grudge match between two NFL head coaches / WWE wrestlers. Visually manipulating your readers when the facts don’t really convey what you would like about a five year old conflict… Bravo!